208-664-8980

1875 N. Lakewood Dr.
Suite 102
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814

Estate Read Time: 3 min

And the Executor Is

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger is famous for more than just his time on the bench. When he died in 1995, he left a 176-word will that gave no specific power to his executors. As a result, he reportedly cost his estate tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees.1

Judge Burger’s case shows that even law-savvy individuals can make mistakes when it comes to writing their own legal documents. But giving executors the proper power is only one piece of the puzzle. How do you choose an executor? Can anyone do it? What makes an individual a good choice?

Many people choose a spouse, sibling, child, or close friend as executor. In most cases, the job is fairly straightforward. Still, you might give special consideration to someone who is well organized and capable of handling financial matters. Someone who is respected by your heirs and a good communicator also may help make the process run smoothly.

Above all, an executor should be someone trustworthy since this person will have a legal responsibility to manage your money, pay your debts (including taxes), and distribute your assets to your beneficiaries as stated in your will.

If your estate is large or you anticipate a significant amount of court time for your executor, you might think of naming a bank, lawyer, or financial professional. These individuals will typically charge a fee, which would be paid by the estate. In some families, singling out one child or sibling as executor could be construed as favoritism, so naming an outside party may be a good alternative.

Whenever possible, choose an executor who lives near you. Court appearances, property issues, even checking mail can be simplified by proximity. Also, some states place additional restrictions on executors who live out of state, so check the laws where you live.

Whomever you choose, discuss your decision with that person. Make sure the individual understands and accepts the obligation – and knows where you keep important records. Because the person may pre-decease you – or have a change of heart about executing your wishes – it’s always a good idea to name one or two alternative executors.

The period following the death of a loved one is a stressful time and can be confusing for family members. Choosing the right executor can help ensure that the distribution of your assets may be done efficiently and with as little upheaval as possible.

What Will?

Take a look at some famous people who left without having a will in place.

Healthy Body, Healthy Pocketbook
  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Bob Marley
  3. Sonny Bono
  4. Pablo Picasso
  5. Michael Jackson
  6. Howard Hughes
  7. Abraham Lincoln

Source: LegalZoom.com, 2020

1.  LivingTrustNetwork.com, 2022

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright FMG Suite.

Share |
 

Related Content

The 12 Steps to Living Confidently: How to Set Up a Budget

The 12 Steps to Living Confidently: How to Set Up a Budget

Get ready. We’re about to get deep. Have you ever thought about what means, means? Yes, you can think about it for a moment…

5 Smart Ways to Mindfully Manage Your Money

5 Smart Ways to Mindfully Manage Your Money

Applying the principle of self-care, of mindfulness, to your financial life can make a significant difference for the better—not just in how you handle your personal finances on a daily basis...

Infographic: The Whole Story of Dividends

Infographic: The Whole Story of Dividends

The whole story of dividends

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Protection Against Uninsured Drivers

You’re hit by an uninsured driver. Now what? Are you protected against financial losses?

3 Estate Challenges for Blended Families

If you’ve been re-married or divorced, these family structures may present some unique challenges. This article will help your clients with blended families think and prepare their estate strategy.

4 Ways Thinking Long-Term Can Improve Your Everyday Life

Financial planning often doesn’t take place on a beach. But the next time you find yourself there, try this experiment, courtesy of management and motivational guru Stephen R. Covey: You’ll need a mason jar and an assortment of big rocks, smaller gravel, sand, and water.

View all articles

Comparing Investments

This calculator compares the net gain of a taxable investment versus a tax-favored one.

Federal Income Tax

Use this calculator to estimate your income tax liability along with average and marginal tax rates.

Contributing to an IRA?

Determine if you are eligible to contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA.

View all calculators

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

Long-Term-Care Protection Strategies

The chances of needing long-term care, its cost, and strategies for covering that cost.

5 Smart Investing Principles

Principles that can help create a portfolio designed to pursue investment goals.

View all presentations

Safeguard Your Digital Estate

If you died, what would happen to your email archives, social profiles and online accounts?

Don’t Myth Out on Whole Life

Whole life insurance can help protect what matters most: your family, your assets, and your legacy.

Questions to Consider When Buying a Vacation Home

Doing your research is key before buying a vacation home.

View all videos